Former personal chef to the Queen Darren McGrady reveals Her Majesty likes the fish bread-crumbed, not battered, and her chips like perfect rectangles, stacked Jenga-style
The Queen likes her fish and chips cooked and served in an unusual style, according to her former personal chef.
Darren McGrady, who worked as the monarch’s chef for 11 years in the 1980s and 90s, said he would prepare her fillets baked and bread-crumbed, not deep-fried and battered.
While her chips were cut into very neat rectangles and stacked like a game of Jenga.
And instead of tartar sauce she enjoys some tarragon hollandaise sauce, a French classic which, Darren explained, is notoriously difficult to make. It’s also very rich, with 90% butter.
Mushy peas are nowhere to be seen on the plate.
Is Her Majesty missing out? Have your say in the comment section
In a Youtube video where Darren is seen preparing her preferred style, he tells watchers: “Fish fried in all that crispy rich batter was a little bit too much for her, she preferred a more refined fish and chips.”
At one point he holds up the chips and describes how they would be cut “the same length” and in “perfect rectangulars”.
He later demonstrates how they would be stacked “in a little tower”. Whether she asked for chips served exactly this way in unclear.
He said the team would cook the royal staff the traditional battered fish and chips with mushy peas but the Queen and any guest she might have would receive the “refined” version, which would be finished off with a decorative flower.
Darren, who also cooked for Princess Diana and her sons, explained that the Queen’s menu would always be written in French, so this particular dish was called Cabillard et Pommes Pont Neuf.
Towards the end of the video, he tastes the dish and describes it as “gorgeous”, but jokingly says it needs a bit of salad cream, which he then adds.
PA Archive/PA Images)
Get the latest royal news and gossip you want straight to your inbox. Sign up to one of the Mirror’s newsletters
On social media, royal fans were delighted with the culinary display, although some felt she was limiting herself with her choices.
One said: “Did the Queen ever play Jenga with her chips when you stacked them up like that?”
Another user said: “Looks amazing but if you served me fish and chips with only 6 chips I’d be fuming.”
While another said: “The Queen doesn’t know what she’s missing: beer battered cod, deep fried chips, mushy peas, salt, vinegar, scraps. She can’t beat it.”
Fish and chips isn’t the only thing the Queen has her own way of eating – as we’ve previously reported, she prefers to eat bananas with a knife and fork.
The annual food budget for the Queen is a whopping £1.6million and includes everything from State Dinners to what the royal family eat for breakfast.
As well as the Royal family, Darren has cooked for five US Presidents. He has also published a cookbook, called Eating Royally; Recipes and Remembrances from a Palace Kitchen.
All of his advances and royalties are donated to the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric Aids Foundation.